dublin, funny, humour, ireland, photography, street photography

Too old for laughter

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This evening, as the rain finally decided to take a late and extended lunch break, a good friend of mine offered me a pass to the TelephoneThingy Comedy Festival in the Iveagh Gardens.

Mrs mememe2U had already offered to buy me a ticket for Saturday night for my birthday but a combination of total contempt for Aiken promotions and resentment for TicketBloodsucker (and their EUR3.50 charge per ticket) – aka the Evil Twins of the “entertainment” business – meant that I never bothered my arse following up on her offer.

Having dabbled in stand-up comedy in the 90s and not missing this microcosm of extreme attention seeking and egotistical permanent doubt (“Was I funny? No really, please tell me that you were not laughing just to make me feel good… Was I really funny?!”), I obviously took Mark up on his offer, as I firmly believe in not looking a gift great white shark in the mouth, but was keeping my expectations at a cool-headed low to not-extremely-high, in unison with the dense cloud cover sitting over Ireland.

Others had obviously read the memo on obligatory laugher at a comedy festival.

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(the latter were seasoned festival pros as demonstrated by the girl-in-the-hat who was topping herself up from a naggin in her handbag, thus minimizing the hurt of the EUR5 not-quite-a-pint beers in plastic cups).

Don’t get me wrong. I did have a few laughs, I am not totally jaded.

I laughed at the comedy car parked outside the entrance.

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I laughed when I first caught sight of the mounted Gardai.

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It’s a pity that they immediately stopped laughing when I suggested a quick shot of their horses mounting each other while they pretended to regain control of the situation (apparently they take bookings for children parties, and my suggestion was not aligned with their business plan)…

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The “real deal” were fair game and didn’t mind having their photograph taken (and I resisted the urge to ask whether a shot of them mounting each other would be totally out of the question – who knows, they too might take bookings for kiddies parties…)

Still, and I am serious here, it is good to have a real, educated community police. Possibly even endowed with a sense of humour. I have a lot of respect for the Gardz. They are a far cry from the Police Nationale or other moronic C.R.S. of my youth.

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The acts themselves were good, in so far as they were playing to an audience intent on getting their laughs worth out of their Aiken ticket (plus extortionate booking fee).

I am not good with names (one of the reasons why I am always very magnanimous with people at work who still don’t know my name after 4 years of working together and exchanging hundreds of emails), but here was the line up:

The MC with the Good Teeth

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He was good. I even seem to remember a gay joke or two that made me laugh.

And he had very good teeth, a shiny beard and a good head of hair. I guess he still has.

The Girl with the Colourful Dress and a funny joke

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She had a very colourful dress. She made a joke about it being a skirt. I think. It is always a good sign when I remember a joke the next day. And her joke about never having seen a flaccid doctor was funny.

It’s a pity I have only one sharp photo of her. I was just finding my feet. And she had a difficult spot as the tent was only beginning to fill up during her set (it did fill up completely eventually, once all the Aiken-robbed punters had finished their EUR5 not-quite-a-pint beer in plastic cups).

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The Good Looking Guy with the Funny Joke

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He was good looking (I guess that he must still be good looking) and he had a funny joke about being on the dole.

Since I don’t think that last night’s gig was community service in lieu of a custodial sentence, I hope he doesn’t get into trouble with Social Services (that’s why I wouldn’t use his real name if I remembered it!)

The Guy with the Deep Voice who Swore a Lot

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He had a funny joke about putting a tent up. And he swore a lot.

The Bouncidian 

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He asked me if I had been taken shots of the Security Personnel (Comedy Festivals are high on ISIS’ list of targets apparently – these bigoted bearded bollixes – not to be confused with hipsters – are rumoured to have even less of a sense of humour than a Russian skinhead concert front raw).

I did not deny. He asked me to stop. I did.

The Head-liner 

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He was from Canada (I guess that he still must be). He could make faces. He had a funny joke about botox. He passed his hand through his hair too often, like someone who has bigger biceps, or fuller shinier hair.

Oh shit, I am jaded. I did not have one single, belly-pain inducing, tears rolling down my face laugh.

I remember being doubled over with said abdominal pain for a solid 90 minutes at a Ross Noble show in the Olympia in the 90s.

They guys tonight were funny. The audience lapped it all up. Which is good. It is good to see loads of people having a good time altogether.

I am just jaded. I just find the whole thing a bit formulaic and lacking in spontaneity. I am not good at laughing on demand.

I am a jaded, cynical old fart. With a money problem (or to be more precise with a problem with the parting with it).

It’s a good thing not everyone is like me…

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3 thoughts on “Too old for laughter

  1. Ross Noble – remains my fantasy picnic guest. And one of the few, if any others, who never depend on a script. The only recent(ish) newbie to get a spontaneous outburst of laughter outta me was Tony Law. Anyway, a refreshing review. And I laughed, and not just to make you feel better. Swear. C’mon. That’s the 50th time you’ve asked me.

  2. I really enjoyed this set of pictures. I was particularly impressed with your ability to capture each individuals personality that was on the stage. The Head-liner was the best example of this. And the comedy car picture was hilarious. Thank you for sharing your experience!

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